David Foster Wallace Misused A Word Once; Walden Pond on Your iPad

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Today in books and publishing: Amazon is selling Spanish language e-books, David Foster Wallace once misused a word, and you can now read Dickens with all the original ads.

Good news, fans of original source materials: The New York Public Library has started digitizing "thousands" of original, handwritten documents from the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, and Henry David Thoreau. This will be particularly helpful come 2014, when the project is complete, and you're stranded near Walden Pond with an iPad, because the collection includes Thoreau's "original pencil map" of the area. [via INFOdocket]

While writing an essay recently, Millions contributor Brian Ted Jones wanted to use an adjective "related to the study of proper names." He knew the word he thought he wanted -- nomological -- because he recently spotted it used in a similar context while re-reading David Foster Wallace's essay "The String Theory." But it turns out, nomological doesn't have anything to do with names. It's an adjective "relating to or denoting certain principles, such as laws of nature, that are neither logically necessary nor theoretically explicable, but are simply taken as true." Jones concludes the word DFW meant to use was omological, which would have made a lot more sense. Remember this the next time you get tripped up by a homophone, or just misuse a word. [The Millions]

Recommended Reading

Amazon is now selling Spanish language e-books. The catalogue includes titles by Spanish-language titles Pablo Neruda and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, as well as translated books. Notable entires in this category include:

  • El Cuaderno de Noah by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)
  • Creposculo by Stephanie Meyer (Twilight)
  • Alicia en el pais de las maravillas by Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)
  • En llamas by Suzanne Collins {Catching Fire)
  • La oscuridad de los sueños by Michael Connelly (The Scarecrow)


This is fun: a super-scholarly website devoted to Dickens' Our Mutual Friend has collected all 320 advertisements that ran alongside the original serialized version of the text and posted them online. Even if you've read the book, the odds are you haven't read it alongside ads for Dr. De Jongh’s Light Brown Cod Liver Oil. There are illustrations and maps of 19th century London, to add to the old-timey effect. [The New York Times]

The book deal for Lauren Scruggs, the model who lost her eye and arm in a horrific propeller accident last December, is a done deal. Per the Houston Chronicle, the book, called Still Lolo, will be published by an imprint of Tyndale in November. Marcus Brotherton will co-write. Terms weren't announced [Houston Chronicle]

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.